Ecosystem and the living organisms

Assignment Assignment 1 (A1): Proposal 15 points | Assigned 9/12. Due 10/10 Each student will write a 2-page proposal on what they want to study for their final project. The subject can be a deeper exploration of a topic from the class material or an exploration of a specific case. Pick a topic or case that you are passionate about so you can sustain your interest throughout the semester. Elements of the Proposal Topic (+ alternatives): The subject of your proposal must relate to the material covered thus far in the readings and lectures or by referencing upcoming material from the syllabus. Refine your subject down to a short phrase or sentence. For example: Carbon Cycles in Rock Creek Park Sustainable Development vs. Gentrification ‘East of the River’ in Washington, DC The Burning of the Amazon and the Phosphorous Cycle? As we will use this assignment to assign groups of 3 or 4 for the final assignment, additionally provide three alternative broad areas of interests, such as urban agriculture, wildlife preservation, or cities and climate change (just examples, any topic in or related to the syllabus or textbook is fair game). Research: Context—Describe your topic concisely. Why have you chosen this topic? How and why is it relevant to you, the class, your community, some ecosystem or other defined entity? What practical concerns drive your interest in the topic? Are there other academic or esoteric concerns that drive your interest? Literature Review—Find at least two articles from respectable news outlets or peer-reviewed academic journals that relate to your topic (one news and one academic would be ideal). Additionally, identify the chapter in the textbook that best relates to your topic. Read all of these, analyze, synthesize and evaluate the material into a coherent narrative for the reader (see Bloom’s Taxonomy). Ask yourself is there a common thread throughout the readings? Are there contradictions? What appears commonly known or accepted? Does this appear valid? What seems up for debate? What knowledge is missing? Research Questions—After you have written your analysis and synthesis of the three (or more) readings, write what your thoughts and remaining questions are on the subject. These are your research questions, and they should be answerable by theoretically realistic data (i.e., do not ask if a god or magic can solve climate change). Evidence and Methods—How would you propose to go about answering your questions? What kind of data would you need? Where and how might you find or collect this data? Limitations—Given how you propose to answer your question, reflect on what may be some shortcomings of that approach. What information would still be missing?

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